Compost 2018-03-18T00:14:31+00:00

Compost

The most important benefit of composting is the production of humus. Fungi, bacteria, microbes and animals such as earthworms, nematodes, protozoa and various arthropods break down the organic materials from the compost into humus. Humus cannot be broken apart any further. Scientist still don’t fully understand humus. It consists mostly of carbon and so it is still organic, but microorganisms just can’t decompose it any further. Humus is so stable that it can persist in the soil for hundreds of years. Humus fertilizes soils in both a physical and chemical sense, and it has the ability to suppress disease. Humus helps the soil to retain moisture and encourages the formation of good soil structure.  Humus allows soil organisms to feed and reproduce, and is often described as the “life-force” of the soil.

Another great characteristic of humus is it capability to store carbon, and its power to mitigate causes and effects of climate change.

Leaf litter

Plant Material

Chipped Wood

Kitchen Scraps

Paper

How to compost?

If you just leave your organic matter such as leaflitter on the ground it will naturally create humus.

If you would like to further improve the soil with extra humus, you  can either go out and buy composted soil, or suggest the homeowner to start composting in their yard.

A compost pile can be enclosed, inserted in a bin, or just left in the open. You start the composting by collecting organic materials. The decomposition process is aided by adding moisture and ensuring proper aeration by regularly turning the mixture. Worms, fungi and bacteria further break up the material.  Although dairy and meat ore organic and will decompose, you shouldn’t advice homeowners to use it in the compost, as it will attract rodents.  To make the process more efficient you can built several piles next to each other.

The ideal mixture for composting is:

80% browns (carbon; dry leaves, wood chips, straw, sawdust, cornhusks, newspaper etc)

20% greens (nitrogen: food scraps, grass clippings, Coffee grounds, manure, fresh leaves etc)

Find a shady corner.

Add organic materials.

Keep moist

Mix and Aeriate

Harvest and use.

Next